BY Fast Company Contributor 2 MINUTE READ

Rapper Jay-Z has sold his majority stake in his music and video streaming service Tidal.

Rapper Jay-Z has sold his majority stake in his music and video streaming service Tidal.

Square, the mobile payments firm run by Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, has acquired a majority stake in the platform in a $297 million deal.

Under the terms of the new deal, the rest of Tidal’s superstar co-owners, who include Beyonce, Rihanna and Madonna, will retain their shares and become the second-largest co-owners. In addition, Jay-Z will join Square’s board of directors.

“The acquisition extends Square’s purpose of economic empowerment to a new vertical: musicians,” said a statement from the finance tech firm.

“It comes down to one simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work,” added Dorsey. “”New ideas are found at intersections, and we believe there’s a compelling one between music and the economy.”

In 2015, Jay-Z bought Tidal from Norwegian-based music-tech company Aspiro in a deal valued over $56 million. He sought to use the platform to give artists more control over their work.

However, since its launch, Tidal has struggled to compete against much larger streaming services like Spotify and Apple. The privately-held company had three million paying subscriptions in 2016, when it last disclosed figures.

Jay-Z surprised fans in December 2019 by moving his music catalogue back to Spotify after a two-year hiatus.

The deal with Square establishes a new joint venture that gives the payments firm “a significant majority ownership stake” along with the existing artist shareholders, the statement said.

Tidal will operate “independently within Square,” according to the statement.

“I said from the beginning that Tidal was about more than just streaming music, and six years later, it has remained a platform that supports artists at every point in their careers,” said Jay-Z, whose full name is Shawn Carter.

“Artists deserve better tools to assist them in their creative journey. Jack and I have had many discussions about Tidal’s endless possibilities that have made me even more inspired about its future.”

Tidal has listeners in more than 56 countries and relationships with more than 100 labels and distributors.